Surfer’s Paradise Goes Cultural: The Gold Coast Precinct Competition

by Stanley Collyer

arm art scape
Winning entry by ARM Architecture

Are a Surfer’s Paradise and a significant emphasis on culture mutually compatible? Australia’s City of Gold Coast thinks so, as evidenced by its ambitious competition for a new cultural precinct. The site of the Cultural Precinct competition is the Evandale district, separated by a river and Chevron Island from the city’s premier attraction—Surfer’s Paradise. As indicated by the latter’s name, the city has gained a large share of its revenue as a tourist attraction. Outside of the inviting coastline, there is much to supplement the entertainment needs of tourists, including 40 golf courses and five theme parks. But as Australia’s fastest growing city—now at almost 600,000—the focus has now turned to the arts as a major asset.

The city already has a performing arts center and film theater on the site; but the new plan envisions adding a brand new art museum and amphitheater. All this will necessitate some major changes in the built fabric, including the removal of a present, outdated government administrative building—to be moved to an adjoining neighborhood location across the water to the west. The City Council Chambers will be retained at the present location, since the quality and footprint of this more recent structure indicate that it is not an obstacle to intended developmen.

present condition
Present site conditions

To create a more attractive park environment, it is assumed that the large surface parking area, which covers almost half of the site, will be removed and accommodated below grade. Also, improved bus service and a new bridge to Chevron Island should facilitate more accessibility from the east and Surfer’s Paradise. Aside from the above challenges, competitors were to indicate that their projects can be built in phases and within budget.

The competition itself was organized in two stages, with Stage One held over a six-week period. It asked competitors to “present an exciting collaborative team demonstrating a high level of capability, as well as a concise yet compelling design response to The Brief, in both words and images.” Stage Two was held over a 12-week period through which up to three design teams were

commissioned for intensive exploration and presentation of ideas and possibilities for the cultural precinct. Stage Two asked that the competitors present designs “that represent a substantial cross-disciplinary design investment.” Competitors were expected to respond to Stage One with a full understanding of the overall competition ambition as outlined in the brief. Most importantly, the client stated, “Stage One Submitted Designs are expected to be only high-level and indicative, with depth and detailed definition to come in Stage Two.” The client also stated that the three Stage Two finalists would each receive AUD225,000 for their work.

The competition jurors were:

• Gordon Holden, Head of Architecture at Griffith University

• Tom Tate, Mayor of Gold Coast

• Michael Sorkin, author and editor of 15 books on architecture, Principal, Michael Sorkin Studio and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at The City College of New York.

• Geoffrey London, Victorian Government Architect

• Greg Forgan-Smith, Gold Coast architect

• Helen Armstrong, Emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Queensland University of Technology

• Destry Piuia, General Manager of the Arts Centre Gold Coast

• John Kotzas, Chief Executive of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane.

After Stage One, which attracted over 70 submissions, the jury shortlisted three entries for Stage Two. They were:

CRAB Studio / Vogt Landscape / DBI; London/Zürich/Gold Coast

ARM Architecture / TOPOTEK1 Landscape Architecture / ARUP; Melbourne/Berlin/Global

NIKKEN SEKKEI / Earthscape / Mori Art Museum; Tokyo/Tokyo/Japan

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The Old and the New: Glasgow’s Schools of Art

The Old and the New

Glasgow’s Schools of Art

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photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy Steven Holl Architects

by Brian Carter

The competition, organized and administered by Malcolm Reading Consultants under the auspices of the Glasgow School of Art in 2009, focused on the selection of an architect to develop proposals for a new school of art on Renfrew Street to be built directly opposite the 1896 building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. After some initial opposition from Scottish architects, the competition was opened to international participation. Seven practices (1) were reviewed by an eight member selection committee chaired by David MacKay. The committee agreed unanimously to appoint Steven Holl Architects, who worked in collaboration with JM Architects and Arup. (2)

 

 

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DawnTown Competition: Landmark Miami

DawnTown Competition: Landmark Miami

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Imagining a design competition for a Miami landmark raises a common question: “Aren’t Miami and Miami Beach actually one big city?” Since both municipalities have their own local administrative institutions and history, focusing exclusively on Miami would suggest that each entity also has its own unique identity and, therefore, its own iconic symbols. Miami Beach has no such identity problem. Ocean Drive with its art deco architecture has long been a recognizable advertising staple for the community. Moreover, a number of its recent modern buildings—Publix Supermarket by Carlos Zapata and Lincoln Road Parking Garage by Herzog de Meuron—have bolstered the city’s image as a place where cutting edge design takes place. 

 

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Realizing a Major Museum Project in Record Time: Finland’s Serlachius Museum Competition



All photos courtesy of the Serlachius Museum
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When the political will and money are there, even a winning competition design can be realized in a reasonable amount of time. By the time all the designs had been submitted to the Serlachius Museum competition in 2011, over 500 entries were received for adjudication. Just three years later, the museum is open for business and built essentially to the original plan (see model). The completed project not only adhered closely to the initial winning scheme by MX_SI Architectural Studio of Barcelona, but also provided an interior rich in detail. The result? The Museum has received high marks from the citizens of Mänttä, and this facility promises to be a regional destination for art lovers, much as the Louisiana Museum on the Danish coast has been, not far from Copenhagen. -Ed
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Zaryadye Park Competition & Interview

The Zaryadye Park Competition

and an Interview with Juror, Ken Smith

by Stanley Collyer

night view  2013 diller scofidio renfro with hargreaves associates and citymakers
Winning project by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

 

Could one imagine a more ideal site for a major urban park? In most cases the site for the future Zaryadye Park in Moscow could only exist in an architect’s dream world. Not only is the site located in the center of Moscow, next door to the Kremlin; it is ringed by buildings reflecting the full spectrum of Russian architecture from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Because of the site’s high visibility, the City decided to stage a limited competition for the site, with the support of the Strelka Institute for Media Architecture and Design. According to the competition brief, “the aim of the competition is to develop an architectural and landscaping design concept that will form the basis for the creation of a contemporary park with a high quality infrastructure that will be open for the public all year round.”

 

 

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Christchurch Art Gallery will be lifted in $36.7m project

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Gearing Up for Louisville’s Centennial Riverboat Festival: Pavilions as Functioning Waterside Attractions

Gearing Up for Louisville’s Centennial Riverboat Festival

Pavilions as Functioning Waterside Attractions

by Stanley Collyer

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Winning entry by stmpj

The Belle of Louisville, the oldest operating steamboat in the United States, will be celebrating a century of service in October, 2014. Not only will steamboats from throughout the Mississippi river basin be part of the festivities, a design competition for pavilions, intended to be placed at strategic points along the riverfront, has been organized, and a winner announced.

 

 

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A New Attraction for an Old Airfield: Moscow’s New National Center for Contemporary Arts

A New Attraction for an Old Airfield

Moscow's New National Center for Contemporary Arts

by Stanley Collyer

 ncca report peng panels visualisation 4
Winning entry by Heneghan Peng

 

Contrary to previous autocratic regimes in Russia, the current visual arts community is apparently encountering few restrictions and is evidently regarded by authorities as being essentially apolitical, presenting no danger to the system—Socialist Realism is out; abstract art is in. This expansion of accessibility to contemporary art collections is attested to by the recent competition for a new National Center for Contemporary Arts in Moscow, also supported by the local Moscow administration.

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The Harvard Bridge Lighting Competition

The Harvard Bridge Lighting Competition

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All images courtesy Rosales + Partners

Rosales + Partners, with ARUP, winners of several design competitions for bridges, including the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge in Washington, DC (COMPETITIONS, Vol. 9, #3), recently won a lighting competition for the Harvard Bridge in Boston. Historic bridges have occasionally undergone facelifts, and this is no exception. However, the fact that it turned out to be a competition was one.

 

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A Sign of the Times? Port of Kinmen Passenger Service Center International Competition

A Sign of the Times?

Port of Kinmen Passenger Service Center International Competition

by Stanley Collyer

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Winning entry by Junya Ishigami

Times change, and plans for a new Passenger Service Center on Kinmen Island illustrate how architecture can become a symbolic indicator of the recent normalization process between The People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. During an ongoing hostile conflict decades ago, Kinmen, then often referred to as Quemoy, was the occasional target of shelling from the nearby mainland, causing locals to seek shelter on a moment’s notice. A recent atmosphere of détente between the two parties, fuelled by economic cooperation, has resulted in a drastic change in priorities for the small island: it is exchanging its old fortress-like role for that of a tourist attraction and primary sea link to the mainland.

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